Saturday, 29 August 2015

Dave Kendall - Death's Dark Dimensions!

Good Grud! An absolutely terrifying cover for Dreams of Deadworld by the master of horror, Mr Dave Kendall! This collection of terrifying tales have a fascinating origin, with Dave actually having a twisted dream of Judge Death and co and painting his nightmarish visions. Hmmmm, I wonder if Death is trying to invade our dimension? You can see those visions below, however they come with a warning - they're absolutely horrible!

Ssssssydney's Valentine present could have been a little more subtle...

Fear dancing to the Birdie Song... 

When Fire found out he was getting his own strip, his jaw literally dropped! 

Old Mortis is putting the weight on...   

Over to Dave, to tell us about the cover. He says "I'm really excited to be doing this series! A bit daunting as Dark Justice was just incredible, however I was aiming for a completely different look from Greg's amazing work. Rather than a cinematic experience, I've tried to evoke a sense of the lunacy of Kev O'Neill and the Nemesis strip. All strange settings and creepy beasts! Not to go over the story again too much, but these versions of the Dark Judges were based upon a pretty creepy Dark Judge invasion dream that I was lucky enough to remember!" (Unlickily enough I'd say! - Pete)

Dave continues "Tharg's brief was short and sweet - 'Dark Judges, field of bones, definitely Deadworld.'"

"With this first cover I was adamant I wasn't going to have Death physically on the cover front and centre. That's saved for another prog, but I definitely wanted to get the iconic statue of Death killing the last inhabitant of Deadworld from 'Death Lives'. I couldn't get it into the strip so went for this first cover. It nails the series firmly in time and place."

Here is that statue, a lovely little detail in a classic strip!

Ironically, the spot was just at the front of the queue at the post office.

"Because of the inclusion of the statue, I was limiting myself compositionally. The statue had to be above the other 3 Judges and that gave me few options but a triangular composition. So I first did small tiny very, very rough thumbnails. These were just scribbles trying out concepts."

"Keep still you silly gits!"

"I followed this up with a more considered rough..."

"Can you tell what it is yet?"

"Which laid the grounds for the final pencils."

If you look carefully, you can see Death's Mum at the door shouting "Tea's ready boys!"

"Then a quick colour rough. This was darker and more monochromatic than the final cover but I was trying to nail the atmosphere. This was approved by Tharg!"

Poor Fire has a devil of a time finding decent deodorant  

"I am painting these covers traditionally. A good friend and collector had already nabbed them up even before I'd started. I did a little bit of work deciding lighting digitally. This was the image I transferred to board for final paints."

Here are Dave's lighting tests...

Oh I love Fear's new handbag! 
Dazed and confused!

As if the nasty buggers weren't dark enough!

"It was then a case of painting it. It ended up being a little more colourful than I initially intended. I think I'd already decided on the Death cover colour scheme so wanted a different feel to the first cover." What a tease! Can't wait to see that Death cover!

This year's Christmas card from Death and Co.

And here's how the cover looks on your weekly dose of thrillpower!

Okay! Who stole Mortis' pint?

And as if that wasn't enough, Dave was kind enough to send a bonus! He included the making of his Tales of Telguuth graphic novel cover from earlier this year, a story close to Dave's heart. He says "I was asked on the back of the Aquila cover to produce the cover for the collection of Tales of Telguuth by Steve Moore and various artists. One of those stories was the first work I ever did for 2000ad." I'm sure readers will remember that Steve sadly died in March last year so it's lovely that we have a collection of his quirky stories to commemorate him with.

Dave says "I had two alternatives. A montage style cover featuring a number of story images or a single image shot..."

Worst bookmark ever...

"Can't I have a bloody bath in peace!?!"

"Both of them feature the fantastic stone giant Dean Ormston painted for one of the 'Bride of Ballakruz Krimm.' This giant blew me away in it's simplicity and power."

A difficult choice, which I'm pleased I didn't have to make! Dave said "Pye Parr made the final decision and went for the single shot of giant with handfuls of bloody stories and skulls."

Below are Dave's exquisite pencils...

 Heston Blumenthal had gone too far this time... 

And that brilliant fully painted cover, creeeeepy!

 The thing with internet dating is people never look like their photo...
Amazing stuff! Thank you soooo much to Dave for sending the images, we are promised a Death cover in the next four weeks and I for one can't wait! Check out more of Dave's nightmarish art over on his excellent site!

Sunday, 23 August 2015

Jake Lynch - Dredd Hot, Chilly Perps!

 Ouch! How's this for a painful looking cover by fan favourite Jake Lynch? This battered and beaten image of Dredd certainly evokes memories of McMahon's classic Cursed Earth finale of Prog 85, this lawman is NOT for breaking!
The previous instalment of Enceladus: Old Life saw Dredd, Hershey and Dirty Frank caught up in a massive napalm strike, I guess it's safe to say that Dredd doesn't come out totally unscathed. Regular readers will no doubt be aware that poor Jake has been the recipient of Rigellion Hotshots in his previous two articles on the blog, it is obvious now that Tharg the all seeing was simply preparing the artdroid for this scorching hot cover. All hail Tharg the Thoughtful!
I asked Jake to talk us through the cover, he whimpered "Aaaaaaagh! Aaaaaaagh! It buuuuuurns, for the love of Grud, help me..."  After a quick blast with the fire extinguisher Jake said "Tharg's brief came in full of expletives to describe Dredd's appearance and I quickly knocked up some thumbnails for The Mighty Ones approval..."
From Jake's smouldering cubicle, I was able to rescue this set of roughs. There are some excellent images there and I know that Jake modelled each one as he burned. Ever the pro...  
Number 4 takes the Dredd as a fascist argument a little too far... 

Jake continues "Number 5 was chosen, along with a few more expletives explaining that I hadn't quite nailed the original brief! Using the selected thumbnail as a starting point I reworked it more along those lines (whimper..)"

 This isn't the time for a wedding proposal Dredd!

With the composition nailed, Jake gets to work. Ironically, he coolly says "Then it's just the usual routine, from rough to tone..."

"On your marks..."

Shouldn't Dredd send himself to the Smokatorium!?!

 "To colour to done!"
Bit of camomile lotion and he'll be right as rain!
Wow, a truly fantastic cover, I adored it the moment I saw it. Here's how it looks on your Prog...
Stay still Dredd, my marshmallow is nearly done!
A trawl through Jake's Facebook page gives a couple of wonderful images, like this top notch Lawmaster redesign...

A law machine... and a motorbike!
And this mind melting Hershey, woah!
"Ooooops! I thought the safety was on!"
Huge, huge thanks to Jake for sending the images, despite being a smouldering ball of flame! I was already a massive fan of this Droid's work but this is my favourite cover yet!

Thursday, 20 August 2015

Phil Winslade - Badrock Bonus!

Megazine 363 sees us once again venture to the dangerous township of Badrock where Colonial Marshal Meta Lawson dispenses her own special brand of justice! Tharg the benevolent has spoiled his loyal squaxx this month by treating us to not only an incredible cover by series artist Phil Winslade, but also a bonus Star Scan too! If I know Tharg, there'll have been no extra oil rations either...  

Living in this age of digital art, I'd assumed the images were composites, the two figures digitally inserted onto a separate, single painted background image. However, closer analysis of the images showed that these were indeed two separate paintings. I asked Phil to tell me more... 
"It was really tricky; I wanted to do both images as I wasn't sure which was going to turn out the most successful. I figured they could use the spare in a collection or some such."
Below we have Phil's initial sketches for the two images...
 An arresting sight...

 Aaaagh, Meta, there's a facehugger crawling up your back!
And here are the images tightened up. These are his cartoons, onto which he will paint...
 "Miss Big Stuff, who do you think you are..."

Phil continues, "Here is the cartoon with rough colour washes so that when I paint in detail I know what colours it'll be against..."

"If there is a bright centre to the universe, you're on the planet that it's farthest from..." 
"And here I am beginning to work on the figure details..."

Obviously, the text on Phil's cup is referring to his artwork... 
"And here are most of the figures done..."

 An ordered desk shows an ordered mind Mr Winslade!
Ever the perfectionist, Phil says "Personally, I wish I got the faces a little better because, as always, scanning presented a few hassles as the scanner doesn't like turquoise or any sort of greeny blue. The editing work on PS after scanning was a real bitch on those two as most of the colours went all over the place. I may have overused the black a bit and then they changed the logo so I had no real idea how they turn out as covers!"
I don't think Phil needed to worry! The artist is obviously having a ball with Lawless and it shows in his amazing work in the actial strip. He says "I wouldn't swap it for the world, I love drawing for Lawless and Matt and Rebellion have been terrific giving me enough freedom to hang myself. I love where Dan is taking the story and it's turning out to be a complete peach of a job, I just hope that comes through and people get on board."
I think people certainly are on board as Lawless is quickly becoming one of the Meg's most popular strips. Huge thanks to Phil for sending the images and breakdowns, absolutely stunning work as ever!

Friday, 14 August 2015

Alex Ronald - Knock Knock!

Another downright excellent cover from fan favourite Mr Alex Ronald, as he perfectly captures the moment in Jaegir when the Strigoi breach the military base on the world of Tartarus.

Below we see his action packed rough...

You're facing the wrong way Atalia!

And here's the amazing panel that inspired it. Simon Coleby's work on this strip has been outstanding from the get go, a real highlight on a prog that is absolutely bursting with amazing artwork at present. However, it's also always fun to see another artist's interpretation of the prog's characters and I think Alex has done an absolutely stella job here.
Oooooh, you put your right arm in...

And here's how it looks on your progshelf, smushtastic!!!

"May I borrow a cup of sugar please?"

Massive thanks to Alex for his continued support! A gentleman of the highest order!

Tuesday, 28 July 2015

Alex Ronald - Ghost and the Machine!


A cool post today as I bring you a double whammy ("Double whammy!") from fan favourite 3D artist supremo, Alex Ronald. Firstly, we have the making of his excellent Storm Warning cover of Meg 362 which sees Brit Cit Psi-Judge Lillian Storm surrounded by her omnipresent supernatural spectres!

Alex said "The brief for Storm Warning was to have the judge surrounded by ghosts and some Psi effects. It might be a bit obvious but I thought  the night vision colours and lighting from TV shows like 'Most Haunted' would be good to try. I also checked back on the covers of previous issues to see if anything like it had been done before but luckily  it had not."

"The colour rough was sent to Tharg along with some of the film references and lighting effects I was hoping to aim for..."

"Aye, he's a pain in the arse, but he gives a lovely head massage!"

Below we see Alex's model of the iconic Brit-Cit Lion shoulder pad...

"An eagle? How cute!"

Alex tells the story of the spooks on the cover "The idea I had was to have the ghosts very subtly step out from behind her, as if seconds before they hadn't even been visible. The problem I had was I didn't want to do a very tall one directly behind her in case it just looked like it was standing on a box which is not the most ghost-like trait! The solution came from my missus who suggested a ghost from the film 'Shutter' which hangs from a character's back like a constant burden. The finishing touches were the spirit lights which add a bit of movement to the image."

And here's that finished image, yikes!

Who ya gonna call?

Next we have Alex's fantastic Lawmaster cover of Meg 356, this was a real favourite of mine and I've been pestering Mr Ronald for it for ages - sorry Alex!

Dredd realised he'd left the iron on...

Alex said "The brief was for a cover of Dredd shooting or Dredd riding his Lawmaster. I wrongly assumed that this cover was for the prog and since Greg Staples' Viper Strike' cover had just been released I opted for the Lawmaster..."

Below is a reminder of the esteemed Mr Staples Viper Strike cover of Prog 1908...

 Old grumpy bollocks...

 Alex continues "However, it turned out to be a Megazine cover and came just two months after Boo Cook's lovely movie Dredd bike cover!" Here's Boo's 'Spit Roast' cover. I sure Alex needn't worry, I don't think any of us will ever tire of seeing Dredd on his Lawmaster!

Hey Dredd, aren't you supposed to be going towards the explosions and stuff?

"Different styles but similar images, I hold my hand up, my fuck up! On the plus side I had always wanted to do a Willsher bike shot and this was my chance..."
Below we see Alex's reference pictures and his cover 'sketch', wow!

Some classic Willsher bike porn there...

"Again it was quickly made in 3D using a mix up of custom models and rejigging of pre-existing parts. The lighting and painting all done within Photoshop." Bah, he makes it sound so easy...
 I want this toy!!!
Here's the final image, simply glorious!
 Nobody ever got anywhere faster by going quicker.
Massive, massive thanks to Alex for sending the images. I really love his work and am delighted to hear he's working with Planet Replicas on a Mekon statue, how cool is that gonna be!?!

Be sure to check out his awesome blog here for many more stunning images!